Keith Law has been quite high on the Kansas City Royals in recent years and for good reason. With arguably the best farm system in all of baseball, there was a lot to like for a minor league analyst like Law, and he often praised the draft classes of Dayton Moore year after year with choices like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Bubba Starling and the like. This year? Not so much.
Law recently released a quick summation of several teams’ draft classes after the 2012 MLB Draft was just finished, and the results for the Royals are rather middling, according to Law:
Kyle Zimmer (1) didn’t finish strongly due to a hamstring strain, but he was 92-98 early with a plus curveball, and he’s very athletic with a smooth, easy delivery. If healthy, he’s a potential No. 2 starter, although he may not move as fast as the other first-round college arms. Sam Selman (2) was awful early in the spring, better late, up to 95 and flashing an above-average breaking ball, but he doesn’t command either pitch and I saw a real lack of competitiveness when I saw him in March; I pegged him as a reliever, maybe a specialist.
I’m much more intrigued by Kenny Diekroeger (4), a good athlete whose decision to go to Stanford cost him over $1 million (short term) and at least delayed his shot at pro ball, but if the Royals can get him back to his high school swing, they could get a top 50 talent here. I’m generally very high on the Royals’ drafts, but like this one less than usual.
Of course, it’s impossible to tell what a draft class will bring until several years down the line, but it’s clear the Royals were focused on pitching that could make a difference early.